26 February 2001.
Index of earlier issues - click here.
(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)
There are some much earlier Other News on this site. Click below.
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
Bonnington Cafe and Bonnington Square.
Bonnington Cafe is having a lull in live entertainment owing to various problems with licences and with people overstaying their time on the premises. The overstaying has given the council a reason to interfere when they previously did not have one. As it is communally owned, negotiators from the community will try to come to an agreement with the council, but some of the caterers tend to ignore the agreements, thus jeopardising negotiators' efforts.
Bonnington cafe is a communally owned cafe in Vauxhall, Central London. The atmosphere is somewhat Bohemian, international, friendly, educated, and much wine (bought from the corner shop across the road) gets drunk. Good quality vegetarian. Cheap. The only lighting is usually candles stuck in wine bottles, and the furniture is a collection of odds and sods that people have thrown out. The overall result is relaxed and pleasing. People tend to spend the whole evening over their meal, and engage in discussion with those on other tables, the caterer, the band, passers through......
Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall Grove, London SW8 UK. Near Vauxhall underground and mainline station, buses 185, 36, 2, 88, 322 and others. Booking is difficult.
A suggestion has come from Peter Challen for taxing the imagination of the populace and of politicians during the run-up to the election on the subject of banks and their unsavoury activities. Here it is:
ACTION IN THE TIME OF AN ELECTION
I thought you might like to see this suggestion, as part of the wider context of a call for the radical release of the money system from enslaving debt and compound interest.
At a meeting last night of the Forum for Stable Currencies, in the Moses Rm of the H of Lords, this suggestion for an immediate educational exercise appropriate to the electoral season arose with the warm approval of those 45 people present.
You might wish both to act on it yourself, but also to pass it to friends for their action also.
For the next few months we should focus deliberately on the PRELIMINARY objective of creating public awareness of the need for monetary reform, by trying to communicate its relevance to current matters of political/public debate. These include
(b) levels of taxation and public expenditure.
This will involve writing or speaking to as many MPs and peers, local councillors, editors, journalists, newspapers, etc, as possible on something like the following lines. The actual wording will need to fit the recipient (e.g. Labour, Conservative, Libdem, Green, etc; politician, media-person, etc). If possible it should be tied to any national or local report or circumstance that makes it particularly relevant at the time. It should also, of course, reflect the sender's own personal views.
"As the election campaign gets going, all the parties should be asked two questions. Do you think bank profits are too high? And are you aware that a possible solution to that problem could result in a £40-billion cut in taxes or a £40-billion increase in public spending?
A report on "Creating New Money" published last year by the New Economics Foundation think-tank pointed out that the present arrangement for putting new money into circulation allows the banks to print most of it out of thin air. The report calculated that this gives the banks a hidden subsidy of over £20 billion a year. It proposed a different method of increasing the money supply,and estimated that this could bring in £40 billion a year in public revenue. The government could then reduce taxes or increase public spending by that amount.
Do you think the government should look into these possibilities seriously, and will you press it to do so?"
The difficulty for me here is that I find it slightly difficult to understand.
THE EXPLANATION seemed to me obvious.
Police had set up barriers round the front of a jewellery shop in Bond Street. There was a damaged motorbike lifted onto a police vehicle carrier, two huge sledgehammers (much bigger than the usual and both new) lying in the road, and the shop, which was double-fronted, had a great dent in the middle of each window.
The conclusion (which could yet prove to be wrong, but sadly probably won't) was that two young men had arrived on two motorbikes with a sledgehammer each, had gone for one window each, with the intention of stealing some window contents, had failed to break the glass, one motorbike had failed to start, and they had escaped on the remaining motorbike.
They probably found it quite exciting, and had probably spent a lot of time planning it, even though they had missed the obvious - virtually all shop windows these days have laminated glass in them - but what I found really sad was the fact that had they succeeded all they would have got would have been a bunch of ill-designed and gaudy junk that had for it's only virtue the fact that it was made out of rare materials, which have no particular purpose other than to be expensive so that some fool who wishes to show that they have more money than sombody else can come in and buy them. These guys were trying to get round this, of course.
The reason they were trying to get round this, no doubt, was so that they could sell whatever junk they managed to steal to some fool who wishes to pretend to have more money than somebody else.
They would then go and spend the money on something equally worthless, like some heroin.
But it's all economic activity.
King Henry the 6th. part 3.
ACT 2 .
Flourish. Enter the king, queen, prince of Wales, Clifford and Northumberland, with drum and trumpets.
Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York. Yonder's the head of your arch-enemy who sought to take the crown. Does that object cheer your heart, my lord?
Aye, as the rocks cheer those who fear to be wrecked upon them. To see this irks my very soul. Withold revenge, please dear god! It is not my fault, and I have not wittingly infringed my vow.
Sire, please do not be too lenient. This man has tried to steal from you that which your grandfather won for you and your father protected for you. Would not even a small bird or a deer defend it's young against the lion to the best of it's ability? Whose hand would the forest deer lick? Not the hand that spoils her young before her very face. You allowed York to browbeat you and offered to allow his son instead of yours to inherit the crown. This disinherited your son, which is a most unnatural thing to do for any man. You, being blessed with a goodly son, nevertheless allowed York to continue whilst you carried on smiling. Were it not a pity that this goodly son of yours should lose his birthright by his father's default, and long after say to his child: 'what my great grandfather and grandsire got my careless father fondly gave away'? What a shame that would be. Look on the boy, his manly face promising such great fortune. Does it not melt you heart? Hold that which you have, and leave it with him.
Full well you have played the orator, Clifford, inferring arguments of mighty force.But, Clifford, did you ever hear that ill-gotten gains had forever bad success? And was it always happy for the son whose father went to hell for hoarding? I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind, and wish my father had left me no more! For all the rest is held at such a rate (of "interest"?) as brings a thousand-fold of care with it. Ah, cousin York, I wish your best friend could know how much it grieves me that your head is here!
My lord, cheer up your spirits. Our foes are near, and this soft courage makes your followers faint. You promised a knighthood to our forward son. Unsheath your sword, and dub him now. - Edward, kneel down.
Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight, and learn this lesson. Draw your sword in right.
My gracious father, by your leave I will draw it in defence of the crown and use it to the death.
Spoken like a toward prince.
(enter a messenger).
Royal commanders, be in readiness, for Warwick, who backs the duke of York, is coming with a band of thirty thousand men, and are proclaiming him king in each town as they move along. Many fly to him. Prepare the battle, for they are at hand.
I would that your highness would depart the field. The queen's success is greatest when you are absent.
Aye, my good lord, and leave us to our fortune.
Why, that's my good fortune too, and so I'll stay.
Be it with resolution to fight, then.
My royal father, cheer these noble lords, and hearten those who fight in your defence. Unsheathe your sword dear father, and cry 'Saint George!'
(march. Enter Edward, George, Richard, warwick, Norfolk, Montague, and soldiers.)
Now, perjured Henry! Will you kneel for grace and set the diadem upon my head, or take a chance in the field?
Go and rate your minions, proud insulting boy! Does it become you to use these bold terms in front of your sovereign and lawful king?
I am his king, and he should bow to me. I was adopted heir by his consent, since when his oath has been broken, for, as I hear, an act of parliament blocks me out as king and puts in my place his son.
Good reason, too. Who should succeed the father but the son?
Are you there, butcher? , Oh, I cannot speak!
Aye, crook-back, I am here to answer you, or even the proudest of your sort.
'Twas you that killed young Rutland, was it not?
Aye, and old York, and still not satisfied.
For god's sake, lords, give the signal to fight.
What do you say, Henry? Will you yield the crown?
Why, how now long-tongued Warwick? Dare you speak? When we met at St. Albans last, your legs did better service than your hands.
Then it was my turn to fly, and now it is yours.
You said the same thing then, yet you still fled.
'Twas not your valour, Clifford, that drove me away.
No, nor your manhood that dared make you stay.
Northumberland, I hold you reverently, break off the chatter for I can scarcely refrain the execution of my swollen heart upon that Clifford there, that cruel child-killer.
I killed your father. Can you call him a child?
Aye, like a dastard and a treacherous coward, as you did kill our tender brother Rutland, but before the sun sets I'll make you regret it.
Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
Defy them, then, or else say nothing.
Pray, give no limits to my tongue. I am king, and priviledged to speak.
My liege, the wound that caused this meeting here cannot be cured by words. Therefore be still.
Then, executioner, unsheathe your sword. By he that made us I am resolved that Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Say, Henry, shall I have my right or not? A thousand men have breakfasted today who shall never dine unless you yield the crown.
If you deny him, their blood is upon your head. For York justly puts his armour on.
If that be right which Warwick says is right, there is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Whoever got you, there your mother stands, for well I know you have your mother's tongue.
But you are neither like the sire nor the dam, but like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic marked by the destinies to be avoided like venomous toads or lizard's dreadful stings.
Iron of Naples disguised with English gilt, whose father bears the title of a king (as though a channel should be called the sea), are you not ashamed, knowing where you come from, to let your tongue detect your base-born heart?
A wisp of straw is worth a thousand crowns to make this shameless callet know herself. Helen of Greece was far fairer than you, even though your husband might be Menelaus. Aggamemnon's brother was never so wronged by that false woman as this king is by thee. His father revelled in the heart of France, tamed the king, and made the Dauphin stoop, and had he continued in the way he set out, he might have kept that glory to this day, but when he took a beggar to his bed and graced your poor sire thus, even then that sunshine brewed a shower for him that washed his father's fortunes out of France and heaped sedition upon his crown at home. For what has caused this present tumult but your pride? Had you been meek, our title would have waited, and we, in pity of the gentle king, would have held back our claim to another age.
But when we saw our sunshine made into your spring, and that your summer did nothing to improve our position, we set the axe to your usurping root, and though to some extent we have struck ourselves, yet now we have begun to strike we'll never leave till we have cut you down, or bathed your growing with our heated bloods.
And, in this resolution I defy thee. Not being willing to talk any longer, since you will not allow the gentle king to speak - sound trumpets! let our bloody colours wave! and either victory or a grave!
No, wrangling woman, we will no longer stay. These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
More next week.
New social justice newsgroup.
The following came in a recent Goforth Social Justice Ezine (see many lines below for Goforth's address if you want to be mailed their stuff). It is not my cup of tea, but that is because I do not think of myself as being religious. On the other hand it may turn out to have virtually no religious content:
"NEW SOCIAL JUSTICE ONLINE DISCUSSION GROUP
A new discussion list for progressive/left politics from a Catholic perspective (social justice/civil rights/human rights/immigration, labor and environment, etc.) is starting and looking for participants. It will be U.S.-based site, but won't be limited to U.S. politics. International contributors welcome. To Sign-Up Send Blank E-Mail to:
NOTE: Not Affiliated with Social Justice E-Zine.
The newspaper placard in Islington said "Benefits firm profits soar as tenants suffer". So it doesn't just happen in Southwark and Wandsworth.
I have told this story so many times in relation to Southwark that I shall do no more than oultine what is happening.
The housing benefit system is managed by "free enterprise" companies of the CSL type (in fact it may be CSL in Islington), who think it is clever to do the job with too few people and generally to work their employees to the bone whilst paying them too little. Little effort is made in the way of attempts to be more efficient or to boost employee morale, which would be far more effective. The result of all this is that the job does not get done, and tenants get threatened with eviction for non-payment of rent and have bailiffs calling round for council tax that is not due. The people who run the council don't give a stuff because they do not claim. They have nothing to lose, and are probably so demoralised by their job that they cannot be bothered to do anything about it.
After all, firms like CSL have a monopoly. There is no competitor once they've got the contract, and the less efficient they are the more easily they can make a profit - and dare I say? - the less easily any fiddles can be discovered.
It's the time of year for financial crises amongst the poor. The demands for rent and council tax that is not due are flooding off CSL's computers, damaging people's credit records, with a note attached saying that if you have dispute with Southwark over this matter you don't need to take any notice.
Just the thing that's needed if your creditors are caused to panic and go for bankruptcy proceedings when they find out the bailiffs are being brought in .
Alternet News might appeal to some readers as a regular list of goings-on in the human rights/green areas of life. You can receive it by email. I have put one copy on this site so that you get an idea of what it is about and how to subscribe.
For sample Alternet email click here.
Click here for an email that arrived in January 2000 concerning a proposed reasoned approach to this tricky subject
This interesting email magazine comes at fairly regular intervals and is of interest to almost anybody who is interested in human rights and green issues. In November 2000 it was going out to about 10,000 addresses. Try it. It won't cost you anything, and you can reproduce the contents without paying. You can subscribe by writing to them at: email@example.com, or visit: Goforth's site
This website is about accounting investigations and fiddles. If you like to look at financial scandals (both hidden and public) this might be worth a look. I have not been there myself, but the books produced by these people, although difficult to follow, cover a lot of mysterious ground.
This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.
This website is one to do with monetary reform.The British Association for Monetary Reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~bamr1
This is a website about alternative currencies.Might be worth a look to those who have realised that you don't necessarily have to have money as such to be prosperous.
This is a website for something called The Green Guide. I know nothing about it, but am hoping it is something worthy. Please let me know if it is questionable.
This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, freemasons....you name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.
This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.
The email of the people who run the above site is firstname.lastname@example.org. They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.
Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called www.edrev.org.
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.
The Soup Designer`s Handbook.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.
(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
Index of earlier issues.
A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.
In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them.
The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for £28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!
I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.
A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email email@example.com (this may now have been provided, but please email if you might like to join in in some way - ed.)
All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:
From The Other News From England. http://www.othernews.co.uk
Even better if you print the date of the article.